It’s never easy to say goodbye to a long-serving and successful manager. Aside from remembering the good times, you can also appreciate just how embedded he or she has become in the team.

Finding a replacement will impact every aspect of the team – from training to talent management.

The end of vSphere 5.5 support

In IT it’s even harder to say goodbye to a piece of long-standing and trusted technology. Particularly when it sits at the heart of your virtual environment.

However, this is what many companies will face on September 18th 2018, when VMware is pulling the plug on all support for vSphere 5.5 after five years of solid service.

With such change comes both challenge and opportunity:

  • vSphere 6.5 brings with it a host of new features and enhancements – from Virtual Volumes to Storage Policy-Based Management and vMotion. (More information on these features)
  • Remaining in an unsupported v5.5 environment introduces significant risks that have the potential to derail your entire strategy.
  • Migrating from v5.5 to v6.5 is a complicated endeavor that requires you to overcome some significant technical hurdles.

Potential threats to your business

Where does the risk come from? vSphere 5.5 is deeply ingrained in many critical areas of a business’ IT infrastructure. Indeed, vSphere sits at the heart of a software-defined datacenter and is the fundamental building block of many cloud environments.

Taking away support, therefore, can lead to major business risks, as well as more operational concerns:

  • Discontinued support: after September, VMware Global Support Services can refuse support if the issue is related to vSphere 5.5 – which could impact other VMware solutions if problems are found to originate with vSphere 5.5.
  • Security exposure: the end of support means no more security updates, which in turn means your VMware environment will not be patched to counter emerging threats – unless you’re willing to pay exorbitant support fees to extend the arrangement.
  • Incompatible firmware updates: as hardware vendors will assume that you’re running a fully supported vSphere version, newer updates will not be designed for v5.5 – a problem that could affect your entire cloud environment.
  • Incompatible hardware: similarly, with hardware vendors anticipating a higher vSphere version than 5.5, it’s unlikely that any newly purchased kit in the future will support your ‘old’ arrangement.

Migrating to vSphere 6.5

As for the migration itself, this too can potentially harm business-critical apps and databases.

As mentioned, vSphere is an integral component of any VMware product portfolio. That makes lifecycle management a great challenge when looking to move to vSphere 6.5 – from ensuring you’ve installed the right Platform Services Controller (PSC) to deploying compatible ESXi hardware.

There’s also the challenge of mapping areas of interoperability: with other VMware solutions, with 3rd party technologies (such as back-up/restore apps), and with any databases or other VMware solutions in your environment.

Developing a comprehensive strategy

Before you upgrade to vSphere 6.5, you need to review your entire vSphere configuration. Plus, if you’re looking to integrate a vSphere environment with your Microsoft Active Director infrastructure, you’ll also need to perform an in-depth functionality review.

On top of these technical hurdles, a migration to vSphere 6.5 could create potential compliance issues in terms of software licensing, and you’ll need to assess how the upgrade will impact your license portfolio.

In other words: there’s a lot of planning to be done, a lot of ‘moving parts’ and a lot of opportunity for human error.

Calling on the IT expert

So how can COMPAREX help?

The first step is to offer assistance in getting the planning and preparation phase off to a good start. That’s why we offer, in conjunction with our partner ITQ, a vSphere Upgrade Check-Up Service – for the set fee of €3,650, and with the promise of the following outputs:

  • A one-day inspection of your environment.
  • A report that details the complexities involved in your migration, the potential risks, and how best to proceed.
  • A conclusion that develops your specific roadmap by providing a clear view of the workload required to complete the upgrade.

 

Ready to make the move?

Our vSphere Upgrade Check-Up Service is only a phone call away. As a software specialist, COMPAREX can also help you assess what the upgrade would mean to your license compliance.

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Jan Ebrard

Jan Ebrard

Solution Advisor

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